It’s too hot for a title.

It is so hot here. We’re under some kind of “it is so hot you might die or you might prefer dying to living” warning until Thursday night, but yesterday was the worst. I came home all lightheaded and pounded glasses of water until I kind of felt like I was swimming. Usually when it’s over 105 I require that we go out to eat, but last night it was hot enough outside that even staying in our little oven of an apartment seemed like a better solution than getting back in the car.

Still, I have various heat-related cooking restrictions, so I had to make something for dinner that required less than 15 minutes of stovetop cooking. I revisited Heidi Swanson’s Lemon-Scented Quinoa, and it was really a perfect summer dinner. Even with a heat index hovering near 110.

acceptable hot weather dinner

acceptable hot weather dinner

My main modification to the recipe was the dressing. We didn’t have tahini and I wasn’t going to pay 10 dollars for a jar of it that would eventually get shoved to the back of the refrigerator and expire before I remembered that we had some, so I just did yogurt/lemon juice/salt/minced garlic. Creamy, tangy, light. Almost sweet. I think I like it even better than the real one.

the breakdown

1 cup of quinoa @ $4.43/lb = $2.22 (it’s an expensive habit)
1 cup of chickpeas (cooked from dried @ $2.68/lb) = $.45
1/2 red onion @ $.99/lb = $.38
2oz plain yogurt @ $2.09/32oz = $.13
lemon juice = $.10

grand total = $3.28

At 4 servings, that’s $.82 per serving. Let’s add $.50 to mine, since I had it over spinach. I just can’t get enough of food with high water content during this heat wave. I actually feel kind of sick from all the fruit I’ve had over the last few days.

So, only one more week left in June, which means only one more week left of kitchen math. We’ve actually saved a surprising amount of money this month, even with a few unplanned dinners out (like tonight’s pizza and beer outing that was overpriced but oh so necessary) and the money we’ve budgeted for our birthday meals. And cutting down to $40 a week on groceries hasn’t hurt as much as I expected it to, though we do tend to go over, so it’s really more like $50. Still, it makes me less likely to be distracted by shiny things at the grocery store, like “family size” bags of peppermint patties. And, hey, we aren’t in the red anymore.

Although some peppermint patties do sound pretty refreshing right now.


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